Travel 3 minutes 21 February 2024

Mory Sacko, a Samurai in the Kitchen

The infectiously enthusiastic chef tells us about his Michelin-Starred restaurant and his favourite spots in Paris

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A popular star of the French food scene, Mory Sacko enjoyed a meteoric rise to fame in 2019, in the wake of his participation in the 11th series of French TV’s Top Chef. He is continuing his soaring trajectory, albeit now largely away from the cameras and TV sets (although he is still in high demand for selfies). In 2020, he elected to set up his first restaurant in Paris’s 14th arrondissement, off the beaten path when it comes to the capital’s classic fine dining circuits. But, this is a neighbourhood that has soul, in keeping with the chef’s cuisine, which is now evolving hand in hand with the look of his premises without any of its authenticity being lost in the process. His love for what he does and the ingredients he selects has not waned either. Here, Mory Sacko shares some of his favourite places to eat and shop in Paris.

The Restaurant

There is no flashy sign outside. You could easily walk past without stopping, so discreet are the fawn-coloured façade and the large window front that looks right into the kitchen. Even the name of the restaurant is cryptic: MoSuke is a contraction of Mory’s first name and 'Yasuke', the name of the only African samurai in Japanese history. But as soon as you step inside, the atmosphere of the place captivates you. On the right, spot the tall form of the Chef as he officiates at the stove, supported by his team, with fluid movements and smiling faces. Then you’re drawn in by the ambience of the freshly refurbished dining area, which sports a palette of soft, light hues.

“I wanted to incorporate elements of the three places that are dear to me, and that inspire my cooking, into the restaurant’s new decoration: Japan, Africa and France. I simply wanted to evoke Japanese influences in the blinds, the shape of the wooden tabletops and the slat detailing on the walls, as well as in the table settings, ceramics and knives. The incisions on the edges of the shelves are reminiscent of traditional African scarification, and the white trunk represents the palaver tree in the centre of the village in West African countries; it is a rough plaster cast of a living tree. All the elements are 100% sourced and made in France. We also worked hard, in collaboration with interior architecture agency Friedmann & Versace, on the comfort of the seating for customers and of the workspace for the teams. The surface area of the kitchen has doubled.”



The restaurant is always booked, but Mory Sacko decided to close for several months to carry out the refurbishments.

“I’m trying to achieve harmony of form and content. These changes correspond to the evolution of my cuisine, my desire to be more precise, to move upmarket. I’m shifting toward a more personal, freer style of cooking. I went to Japan for the first time this year, and I brought back some new ingredients that I’m incorporating into my cooking. Théo, the Head Pastry Chef, and I tasted over 20 different types of rice before finding the right one for us. It was crazy! I’m always looking for new things and improvements. By progressing in my technique, I’m able to cook in a simpler, less conspicuous way,” .

What are his plans?
“To continue to evolve. I am in the kitchen at every service – that’s a priority for me. I can give advice but I don’t feel ready for cookery classes and books!”

MoSuke - Oshizushi with Arctic char, cucumber, dill, beurre blanc with vin jaune
MoSuke - Oshizushi with Arctic char, cucumber, dill, beurre blanc with vin jaune

The Chef

Born in Seine-et-Marne, east of Paris, Mory Sacko was the sixth child in his family, who are originally from Mali. He was fascinated by Japan and cooking and gained his school leavers’ certificate in 2009, followed by a vocational baccalaureate in cookery and culinary arts in 2011. He started at the Hôtel du Collectionneur as a commis, before joining Le Royal Monceau in 2012, working alongside Nobu Matsuhisa. He then worked with Christophe Moret at the Shangri-La until 2015, when he met Thierry Marx at the Mandarin Oriental and became his Sous Chef.

Today, he lives and works in the same neighbourhood, and can be found in the kitchen every day. Just a stone’s throw from MoSuke, he has also opened MoSogo, which offers a range of quality comfort food, including burgers and fried chicken, in a pared-back atmosphere – to eat in, take away or have delivered. The brand can also be found at Galeries Lafayette.

“I'm a fan of street food and burgers, which I select from all over the capital, just like my suppliers, whom I select meticulously.”

MoSuke - Aubrac beef matured in shea butter, mafé sauce, fonio, tamarind
MoSuke - Aubrac beef matured in shea butter, mafé sauce, fonio, tamarind

Mory Sacko’s Top Tips

We’d often like to know where chefs source the best ingredients, or produce that seems impossible to find. Mory Sacko agreed to share his favourite places.

La Petite Alsacienne
“This is a nice local bakery not far from the restaurant. It supplies bread to both restaurants. It sells the famous pretzels, which I love, and a fine selection of Alsace specialities, like Linzer torte and kouglof.”
45 rue Raymond Losserand, 75014 Paris

Nomie Épices
“I get a special blend made with chilli, sesame, citrus peel and sansho peppercorns for the restaurant. The spices are well sourced and of excellent quality, which means you use less.”
34 rue de Torcy, 75018 Paris

Café Hexagone
“A neighbourhood roastery – I buy their excellent coffee: carefully selected, freshly roasted and ground for the restaurant.”
121 rue du Château, 75014 Paris

Umami Paris
“A very well-stocked Japanese grocery shop where I can find koshihikari, the rice I selected in Japan.”

Japanese Knife Company
“With shops in the 7th and 12th arrondissements, they have an incredible selection of knives made in the time-honoured Japanese tradition. They also maintain, stone-sharpen and polish the blades, which I have since learned to do myself.”

Hero Image: Mory Sacko, Chef of the restaurant MoSuke


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